AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The achievements of Lady Bird Johnson were commemorated today with the dedication of the Lady Bird Johnson souvenir Forever stamps sheet. The ceremony honoring the former First Lady took place at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin.
The stamps are available at Post Offices in Texas and the Washington, DC metropolitan area. They can also be purchased at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-STAMP24. To learn more about Lady Bird Johnson, centennial-related events, and to download photos and view a video, visit ladybirdjohnson.org.
"Lady Bird Johnson changed the face of America — literally," said U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall, Jr. "She believed we had a responsibility to our environment to restore what had been damaged — and to remember what had been neglected. That's why she led campaigns to clean up our cities and urged more Americans to visit national parks. One of her proudest achievements was the Highway Beautification Act. She was so vocal in her support for the legislation that it became known as 'Lady Bird's Bill.'"
Joining Marshall in dedicating the stamps were the First Lady's daughters Luci Baines Johnson and Lynda Johnson Robb; additional family members included granddaughters Lucinda Robb, Nicole Nugent Covert, Catherine Lewis Robb and Rebekah Nugent McIntosh. Also participating were University of Texas at Austin Natural Sciences' Dean Linda A. Hicke; and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Executive Director Susan Rieff. Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation Chairman Emeritus Tom Johnson served as master of ceremonies.
"Generations of Johnson's are grateful to celebrate Mother's Centennial with a forever stamp," said Luci Baines Johnson. "A stamp that will remind us forever of the difference she made on our environment and our commitment to serve those most in need."
The Lady Bird Johnson souvenir sheet features six stamps, a quote from the First Lady reflecting her belief that the environment is our common ground, and a black-and-white image of the First Lady taken from a family photograph shot in 1963 by Yoichi Okamoto. Text on the back of the stamp sheet highlights a few of Lady Bird Johnson's many successes.
The single stamp on the right side of the sheet features her official White House portrait, an oil painting by Elizabeth Shoumatoff showing the seated First Lady wearing a buttercup yellow empire-waist gown.
The five stamps on the left, adaptations of stamps originally issued in the 1960s commemorate the visible legacy left by her projects — and encourage others to follow.
The top stamp reads "Plant for more Beautiful Streets" and shows a row of blooming crab apple trees along a paved suburban road.
The second from the top offers the encouragement to "Plant for more Beautiful Parks," with an image of a field of daffodils along the Potomac River with the Washington Monument in the background.
"Plant for a more Beautiful America," the center stamp, depicts the Jefferson Memorial in the background seen through branches of flowering cherry blossoms.
The fourth stamp is a scene of yellow and blue wildflowers along a highway with the caption "Plant for more Beautiful Highways."
The last stamp, which reads "Plant for more Beautiful Cities," shows plantings of pink and red azaleas and white tulips with the U.S. Capitol in the distance.
The original engraved stamps — featuring art by Walter D. Richards (four stamps, issued in 1969) and Gyo Fujikawa (center stamp, issued in 1966) — have been adapted for printing in offset lithography by artist Paloma Alcalá of Alexandria, VA.
The Lady Bird Johnson stamps are being issued as Forever stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
How to Obtain the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. New stamps may be purchased at Post Offices, at usps.com/stamps or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Lady Bird Johnson Stamp
8225 Cross Park Drive
Austin, TX 78710-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Jan. 30, 2013.
How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are seven philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
- 578562 First-Day Cover (Full Pane) $5.20
- 578563 First-Day Cover Set of 6, $5.34
- 578564 First-Day Cancelled (Full Pane) $5.20
- 578568 Digital Color Postmark Set of 6, $9.60
- 578584 Press Sheet without die cuts, $43.20
- 578591 Ceremony Program (random stamp), $6.95
- 578599 Keepsake SS/6 & DCP Set 6, $12.95
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.
SOURCE U.S. Postal Service